Study links groundwater with surface water in Devils River

Study links groundwater with surface water in Devils River

A Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) study provides detailed models linking groundwater in a Texas aquifer to the surface flows in one of the state’s most pristine rivers. The study shows how karstic pathways of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer follow the same channels as the Devils River watershed, creating natural springs that sustain the river. “Natural springs play the major role in sustaining flows in rivers located in a semi-arid climate that experiences extended dry periods,” said Ron Green, the SwRI scientist…

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Twelve steps Houston can take to address our flooding problem

Twelve steps Houston can take to address our flooding problem

  • August 31, 2017
  • News

The Houston region has a major flooding problem. Denying this fact does a disservice to us all, because flooding will only get worse in the future as the intensity and frequency of severe rain events increases. If we do not admit that we have a problem, we will never focus the resources and the effort that this problem demands. We must get past the belief that telling the truth about it will be bad for the community and an indication…

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A Texas Farmer on Harvey, Bad Planning and Runaway Growth

A Texas Farmer on Harvey, Bad Planning and Runaway Growth

  • August 30, 2017
  • News

“A century’s worth of unchecked growth…has brought prosperity to many. But it also has altered the landscape in ways that have made both the droughts and the floods more destructive and made that prosperity fleeting. Much of the region sits atop the overtaxed Gulf Coast Aquifer, and though efforts have made over the last 40 years to limit withdrawals from it, enough water has been sucked out of it that the ground still subsides in some places, altering runoff patterns and allowing…

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Travis County $185 million bond Nov. election to address roads, safety

Travis County $185 million bond Nov. election to address roads, safety

  • August 24, 2017
  • News

Travis County commissioners called a $185 million bond election for Nov. 7 that focuses on road safety and park projects. On. Aug 15, Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion said the bond aims to fund “safe roads to school, evacuation roads, low water crossings—places where people have been killed. “This is a health and safety bond,” he said… Read more from Community Impact

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Photographer turns lens on our ‘complex, disconnected’ relationship with water

Photographer turns lens on our ‘complex, disconnected’ relationship with water

Mustafah Abdulaziz is a former Wall Street Journal photographer who left the media world to pursue a global, 15-year project exploring our “complex” relationship with water. He has visited 11 countries — including Brazil, China, Nigeria, India and Pakistan — to highlight how water is both a source of life and struggle for communities. “I see pollution into the natural world, I see misuse of our resources,” he told News Breakfast… Read more from ABC News

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HCA Director’s Notes – August 2017

HCA Director’s Notes – August 2017

  • August 17, 2017
  • News

How often in Texas can we say that August began on a refreshing note? Well, it’s thankfully true for the Hill Country as rain brought relief to the dry land and cracked creek beds that naturally accompanies summers in the Lone Star State. Although the temperatures are back up and soil moisture is creeping back down, those early August rains also serve as a reminder that summer is winding down to an end and a new season is just around…

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Neighborhood in Travis County designated a “Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction”

Neighborhood in Travis County designated a “Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction”

  • August 16, 2017
  • News

River Hills Neighborhood Association (RHNA) has been formally designated a Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). River Hills is a small Travis County neighborhood in the foothills of the Hill Country. In this tranquil area, big dark skies and clear starry nights still exist and provide a spectacular view of one of Texas’ great natural legacies. IDA Executive Director J. Scott Feierabend notes: “The announcement of the River Hills Neighborhood as an IDA Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction…

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Chronic wasting disease continues to spread

An always-fatal neurologic disease is contributing to declines in Western deer and elk herds and raising the possibility of local extinctions. Bryan Richards, chronic wasting disease project leader within the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center, has seen clear patterns of increasing spread and prevalence. “Where it’s established, it’s spreading and growing,” he said. “We have a lot of geographic areas with relatively recent detections, and we really do not have a very effective arsenal of tools with which…

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Groundwater Ownership in Texas

Groundwater is an integral part of the land, and private landowners have a vested ownership interest in the groundwater below the surface of their land. The Texas Constitution and more than 100 years of case law support this position. Secure, protectable property rights best assure conservation and stewardship of all resources, including groundwater. Not only does this provide the landowner a right to produce, but it ensures the ability to conserve groundwater if there is no rush to produce under…

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Branch Towers and T-Mobile Curtail Plans to Build Cell Tower

Branch Towers and T-Mobile Curtail Plans to Build Cell Tower

  • August 16, 2017
  • News

Thanks to some quick community organizing and excellent volunteer leadership from residents of Vanderpool, plans to build a new cell tower on the banks of the Sabinal River have been shifted to instead utilize an existing cell tower. With the help of HCA, Vanderpool residents reached out to those around the state who love this special corner of the Hill Country. Through petitions, letter writing campaigns, and a resolution from the Bandera County Commissioners Court, Vanderpool residents and their supporters…

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